Pubdate: Mon, 02 Oct 2000
Source: Standard-Examiner (UT)
Copyright: Ogden Publishing Corporation, 2000
Contact:  P.O. Box 951 Ogden, UT 84402
Author: Joe H. Ferguson


This is in response to the Aug. 16 commentary by Ogden Police Chief
Jon Greiner, "Voters warned about Initiative B's ulterior motive:
legalizing drugs."

Chief Greiner conveniently -- and, we must presume, intentionally --
ignored the key issues which Initiative B addresses, which are due
process of law and the constitutional rights of innocent citizens.
Chief Greiner also implies that all of the support for Initiative B
comes from out of state. That is totally untrue. Many of us Utah
citizens have been fighting against this unjust and unconstitutional
law for years.

The crux of asset forfeiture, which is accurately described as being
on "the dark side of the law," is that government agencies take
property without the owners having been convicted of a crime. This
violates the rights of all citizens to be protected by the Fourth,
Fifth and Sixth amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

Chief Greiner's claim that Initiative B's ulterior motive is to
legalize drugs is totally false. The initiative does not decriminalize
drugs. It merely restores the rights of innocent citizens from having
their property arbitrarily sized or confiscated. The guilty drug
dealer can still be prosecuted, convicted and penalized.

All officials of the state of Utah, from Gov. Michael O. Leavitt down,
including Chief Greiner, are required to take an oath to uphold and
defend both the U.S. Constitution and the Utah Constitution. Asset
forfeiture clearly violates both.

I challenge Chief Greiner to show, specifically, where in Initiative B
that drugs are legalized, as he alleges.

I further challenge Chief Greiner to explain how he can practice,
enforce and support asset forfeiture without violating his oath of
office and the constitutions of the United States and the state of
Utah. I shall be anxiously awaiting his reply.

Joe H. Ferguson
 American Fork
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